Not me but it got me thinking, with all this home working looking like it is going to be more common once the lockdown has been lifted and we have a cure or vaccine for Covid-19.
What happens when someone leaves the job? Or has a birthday? Or has a baby shower?
When I was employed, I was very active in doing the office collections, making sure people signed the card and donated towards a thoughtful gift for the event.
Then when I left, I was overwhelmed by the messages and effort that other people had taken into ensuring my last day was memorable.
So, what happens now?
We can no longer stalk people with a card and a collection box, we cannot go out for leaving drinks/lunch, throw a birthday party or baby shower in the office.
We need to think about it differently.
It is too easy now for an announcement to get lost in your inbox, because we are receiving more and more emails. We need to actually make an effort to click a link to sign a card or take time out of our days to attend virtual event.
So what do we do?
1.) Create a virtual card or movie
People can then add their messages or even funny pictures to the virtual card. I have signed a couple of these over the past few months and I’m getting used to it.
You could even create an event movie with images and clips collected from your colleagues or friends.
2.) Throw a virtual party
Every week I am hosting a home workers quiz for the people I’m currently working with. On this week’s edition one of our regular quizzers was leaving so I created a custom quiz for her. It acted a little like a mini leaving party.
It doesn’t have to be a quiz, you can pretty much do anything virtually now, get everyone on their webcams, all dressed up with a drink or two, have party games, or even just have a lunch time gathering where everyone has a natter.
3.) Have a movie night
Popping round to a friend’s house for a takeaway, bottle of wine and a movie is a great night in, you can still do that in lockdown.
Organise a movie night where everyone is watching the same movie while being connected on a virtual platform or FaceTime. There is an app which helps you have a Netflix Party so everyone is synced together https://www.netflixparty.com/
4.) Send a package or a card
Jeff Bezos is on track to become a trillionaire, and lockdown has helped with that. Now, more than ever, people are shopping online, wanting to avoid the shops or even because some shops are still shut. I know my Amazon spending has skyrocketed!
There are lots of places where you can send a birthday card, cake or gift to a colleague or friend. So, you can still have a collection, just make it virtual (be careful handing out your bank details).
What does the future look like?
Remote working is not a new concept, it has been around for years, but before lockdown if there were an event people could still meet up or come into the office for their ‘party’.
When all the lockdowns have been lifted, we have a cure and the world returns to normal. I think the ‘normal’ world will not look or work the same as it did before. People will be working remotely much more because it works!
So even though this is not a new thing, we are only now getting an appreciation for what we can do to support and thank each other without actually physically meeting up. We need to keep the virtual celebration going not just for our own wellbeing but for the wellbeing of others.
Because what is the alternative?
Ok thanks, bye? Not even that? Events go unnoticed, people just disappear from the email list.
People start to feel like they have been forgotten which can damage their mental wellbeing. I did an experiment last year where I removed my birthday from Facebook. Usually I would get 20-30 message from people wishing me happy birthday, that year I got a couple. Most of the messages I got were just normal messages from people who actually remembered rather than waiting for a prompt.
So, throw a party, send a virtual card or gift, or even just give someone a call for a coffee chat like you would in the office.
Take the time to make some time for each other.